Annually, over 45 billion menstrual products are used worldwide. Conventional period products often result in adverse environmental impacts at several stages in their life cycle due to the production and disposal of the plastic used in these items.
Industry innovation has led to the emergence of a variety of sustainable options. Many of these choices (including cloth pads, menstrual cups, and period underwear) are reusable. For those who prefer disposable products, organic and plastic-free single-use tampons, panty liners, and pads have been developed. Online retailers offering these products include TOTM, Freda, DAME, and Callaly.
According to Lucy Lettice, the co-founder of menstrual brand &SISTERS (as reported by Rachel Moss from Huffpost), many single-use period products made from organic cotton are compostable and biodegradable. In order to achieve the best results when composting these products, Lettice suggests using ‘green’ compost (such as vegetables and grass) along with the tampons and pads, and ensuring optimal conditions are maintained in the compost bin (which should be a warm and damp environment). While it can take as long as 18 months for these products to decompose, the resulting reduction in landfill waste is well worth it. Sustainable menstruation can take many forms, and with an ever increasing variety of eco-friendly products, it’s about choosing the option that’s right for you.